Being an independent (ICT) Business-lawyer (51) for 25 years, the combination of sedentary work, a sub-optimal working posture, and being exposed to high-stress levels for a long time, I developed a wrong breathing habit over the years. I discovered I was breathing too high and too deep, too much, etc, AKA chronic hyperventilation. Discovering this is one thing, but how to get back to normal and healthy breathing pattern -while maintaining a busy life- is a different challenge.
Normally I would not share a lot about myself in the public space (I am a privacy lawyer...) but to advocate the Buteyko method and my Buteyko coach Eduard Reuvers I will gladly do it in this testimonial. So I invite you to take a seat, a deep breath (longer out than in), and some time and I will tell you about my experience.
As 30% of the all people in the western world seem to have high blood-pressure, I figured 1. at least I am not a rare case and 2. it must be related to life style. Before that I always believed this runs in our family and I just had to accept it.
So a few years ago I came across the Buteyko method, as I was researching causes and natural cures for high blood-pressure and I knew my breathing was wrong. The method looks very easy; it is all about increasing your Control Pause. This is the time you can, after an normal exhalation, quite easily bear to keep your breath out before feeling your body wants to inhale. I took a course of 4 sessions and got a handbook and a timer, and had a few calls with the teacher. It worked and I felt good about it.
But I was not very consistent in the practice, I must admit. However, I did introduce a family member to the Buteyko method. She had more stamina than I had and was able to get rid of the high blood-pressure medication, lost weight, is more patient etc, by practicing it for a year. So by then I knew it must work and Buteyko is a very powerful key. But how to implement this for myself in my stressful life, that was the big question for me. So I got a bit stuck; how to get in the right direction again ?
Breath is the key to everything, I knew that - as my precious wife Wanda Schaufele is a well known international Kundalini yoga-teacher and coach and is into transcending in general (www.transcent.nu) has explained to me numerous times. But now I wanted to really understand and investigate how and why this works, and more important, does it work for me.
First I needed someone (an Ayurvedic coach) to tell me in the beginning of 2016 - right in the face: "You HAVE to prioritize self-care !".
After this I started to change my attitude towards myself. No coffee, no/low on sugar, no alcohol, for the first three months until March 31st. It is very difficult to break habits, but it appears to be very, very worthwhile to take some time to really do it. Since then I also wanted to pick up the Buteyko breathing, and this time very serious.
For a while already I used the free Buteyko apps of Eduard Reuvers on my iPhone. After some time, I didn't get where I wanted to go and lacked discipline ("work-work-work-etc"). So I decided to buy the "pro"-app. But still I was depending on my own use of the apps.
So when this did not get me where I wanted, I accepted that I needed guidance with this and decided call Eduard and book a Skype session. This has radically changed my life and my view on the benefits of Buteyko breathing, especially after meeting Eduard Reuvers online. As a person he is very nice to work with, he is very open minded and has a professional but personal and trustworthy approach.
With the kind and patient coaching of Eduard I started the Advanced Buteyko course in May 2016 I immediately improved my Control Pause from about 15 to 25 seconds in the first week. After three days, I discovered I experienced NO heart palpitations any more. My blood-pressure went down. And as a bonus, my weight went down a few kilos (without any exercise). I was able to start boot camp to further improve my health and continue to do so every week.
So now, 6 months later, I do an intensive period of Advanced Buteyko every second month. In the other months I practice Buteyko throughout the day and combine it with meditation moments. Every few weeks I have motivation sessions with Eduard through Skype. This really helps me a lot to stay motivated and to learn about things and reactions I discover. The Buteyko method as Eduard teaches it and developed it further, based on and supported by the use of an app, is very powerful and will increase the Control Pause more rapidly than the traditional method.
Now my control pause is about 40 seconds. Sometimes I even get above 60/70 seconds. The family member I mentioned before, who still practices the more traditional Buteyko method every day and still enjoys the benefits, is having trouble to get above 30 seconds Control Pause.
But I have learned, this is not a contest and CP can and will come down again, influenced by the use of sugar, alcohol, coffee etc. The good news is, even after stopping practice for a week or so, the control pause will stay quite high and can be built up very quickly. My experience is it stayed at around 40 after two weeks lack of practice. Your body remembers and is adjusted to a higher CO2 level. It really works.
Practicing Buteyko breathing has become a journey for me, and I can recommend it to anyone that is searching to change his of her lifestyle and health, both physically and mentally. It is not a quick fix, but the benefits really will motivate you. Especially when you suffer from asthma, heart-palpitations, even diabetes I have read or if you are overweight: research it, look it up on Youtube, read about it, but in the end it comes down to this: just try it!
I thank Dr. Buteyko for dedicating his whole professional life to promoting this method to the world. Hopefully, medical professionals will soon start to understand the possible value of this method for curing many diseases and incorporate it in their treatment. In the mean time, let's not wait for that and just start ourselves.
Free your breath. Free yourself...
It is worth it, YOU are worth it.
I know I am !
Dirk de Jong
Disclaimer: there is no guarantee of specific results and results will vary.